It has been a big year for Lighthouse CEO Ryan Hertz.
To kick off 2019, Hertz oversaw the merger of South Oakland Shelter and Lighthouse, bringing together more than 75 years of experience serving impoverished metro Detroiters. In July, he led the groundbreaking for Coolidge Place, a new $15-million affordable housing development project in Oak Park and Lighthouse’s first new development project since the merger. In August, he and his wife welcomed their second child, a baby girl. And, now, Hertz, 39, has been named among this year’s class of Crain’s 40 Under 40.
Since 1991, Crain’s has gathered 40 of the community’s top young leaders each year for a special salute. Click here to read more from Crain’s about Hertz’s award.
“It’s truly an honor to receive this recognition for the work we do,” he says. “I couldn’t do it without an amazing team, our partner congregations, and all of our donors and volunteers. I’m grateful to all who support Lighthouse’s mission and efforts. We’re counting on the community’s continued support because there’s still much more work to be done.”
Ryan assumed the role of Lighthouse CEO in January 2019. The new Lighthouse provides a stronger collective response to homelessness and poverty in Oakland County. Behind the scenes, Ryan works with staff, board members, donors, volunteers and other stakeholders to keep our operations running smoothly.
Prior to that, he led SOS for nearly a decade, helping to expand SOS’s scope of services to encompass emergency shelter, rental assistance, affordable housing development, supportive service solutions and crowdfunding technologies that have helped thousands of displaced people get back on their feet and find a renewed sense of purpose.
He is passionate about connecting those with a giving spirit to powerful opportunities to change the lives of others. In fact, Ryan was named among Crain’s 20 in their 20’s back when he was just 28 years old for his work helping those in need.
“My greatest professional achievement to date has probably been securing $1.36 million in Low-income Housing Tax Credits resulting in $12.5 million in equity for our Coolidge Place affordable housing development that is now under construction,” he told Crain’s.
“Our ongoing willingness to challenge ourselves to do better for those who seek our services is what led to this tax credit award. That same spirit is now fueling the new Lighthouse. For too long, our lower-income neighbors have been stigmatized and this has served no one. I believe our combined organization will help change the conversation. I’m excited for all that’s to come.”
Ryan will be honored along with other members of Crain’s 2019 class of 40 Under 40 on Thursday, November 21, during an awards ceremony at The Roostertail in Detroit. Click HERE to purchase tickets and join us in celebrating this tremendous achievement.